Legislatures worldwide are dominated by wealthy elites, who are often out of touch with the needs and problems of citizens. Research shows that the underrepresentation of the working class matters in terms of policy processes and outcomes. Yet the research on class has largely focused on blue-collar representatives, who are primarily men. Working-class women are more likely to hold pink-collar jobs, or low-status occupations dominated by women. We argue that pink-collar legislators are uniquely positioned to legislate over education and social service policy. To test our argument, we combine a new coding of working-class backgrounds that accounts for pink-collar representation with state spending data on education and social services from US states over time. Modeling compositional budget data, we find that class and gender intersect to shape policy outcomes via state budget allocations, with women's pink-collar representation associated with increased spending on both education and social services.
|Number of pages||36|
|Journal||Legislative Studies Quarterly|
|State||Published - Feb 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Thanks to Betül Demirkaya, David Fortunato, Andrew Philips, and Sherelle Pierre for comments on the draft. Funding for this research was provided by the Newcomb Institute at Tulane University. Part of this research was conducted while Barnes was the Greenleaf Scholar in Residence at the Stone Center at Tulane University. Research presented at the Harvard Kennedy School, American University, the European Conference on Politics and Gender, EGEN Europe 2019, and the Department of Political Science at the University of Kentucky.
© 2020 Washington University in St. Louis
- pink -collar
- policy outcomes
- state legislatures
- women in office
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science